It was one late afternoon during the last week of November. We were coming home after grocery shopping in Landmark. In my attempt to save on transportation expenses, I told my bro that if we can hail an MGE taxi cab before a UE Letre bus comes along, then, we’ll take a cab. 😀
MGE Transit Corp. is the only cab company here in Manila that I truly trust. I remember going home every day from my work in The Fort from years back and calling their customer service hotline to have a cab sent my way. There was a fixed additional Php 50 for calling them, but it was worth it considering they’re MGE and I can sit back and relax while we drive our way home to Navotas. And I always pay about Php 200+ because their taxi meters aren’t rigged. That I can confidently attest to.
Okay, not the MGE taxi photo I’d prefer to post here but it’s the only thing I can find on Google. Wasn’t able to take a photo of my own and I can’t even remember where I got this.
Since my schedule for work before was flexible and I go to work late at night (call center supervisor), I almost always take taxi cabs to work. I’ve had a ton of frustrating experiences, and I even had multiple arguments and fights with cab drivers because of their controlled and rigged meters. In the past year though, I decided to just shrug it off. But, I always try to wait for an MGE taxi just to avoid any added stress.
Going back to that November afternoon, aboard an MGE taxi cab, we got to talk to the driver. I’ve been very curious about how they screen people, their company’s guidelines and how they punish those who fail their standards. The cab driver, let’s just call him George (This is NOT our cab driver’s real name. I had to use an American name to lessen the possibility of someone actually having the same name 😀 ), let us in on what they go through to ensure all the employees are taken care of and are meeting the company’s standards.
MGE is owned by Macario Lim Gaw Jr. Their “sister” cab companies are EMP and Green taxi, respectively my second and third among my reliable list of taxis. They have been around for years now and have maintained their position as the top taxi service provider in Manila. Let me tell you a few things about them, as shared by our cab driver George.
All their drivers are given a 3-hour briefing where they learn the company’s guidelines to ensure the quality of their service, how to handle different situations and how strict they are with their policies. In fact, they warn their drivers right away that if they have any intentions of breaking the rules or the guidelines, might as well quit as early as possible because they don’t take customer complaints lightly.
Ensuring Quality Service
When you take an MGE, EMP or Green taxi cab, you’d find these laminated signs at the back of the front seats:
Those are the taxi cab’s body and plate numbers (I had to remove the info here to protect George), the company’s guidelines and their contact numbers. They have this readily available so in case the passenger needs to complain or call them about the said cab, they can easily pinpoint which one among their fleet of taxis you’re complaining about. No need to hurriedly take a photo or take note of the info when you get off the cab.
I hope you know that taxi drivers are NOT allowed to require you for additional fees or fixed fares. They’re also not allowed to be picky on their passengers. If an MGE taxi cab driver breaks any of these rules, make sure you take note of the taxi’s plate number, body number (not really necessary), time, date and where they picked you up and where they dropped you off. Then, call their customer service hotline numbers IMMEDIATELY.
Why do I say do it immediately? Because as soon as they get back to their company’s garage (to end or start their shift), their office will hold them until the complaint has been addressed. They may be fined, depending on the degree of misdemeanor and how often a driver gets complaints.
I wish though that they have name plates with the cab driver’s information displayed on the front too so we can also give their names when we call to complain.
So, next time you encounter a rude or unfair MGE taxi cab driver, report it right away! So far, out of over a hundred MGE cabs I’ve hailed, I can only complain against about 10 of them. They’re not perfect, but they’re way better off than other taxi companies.
Other Guidelines / Policies of MGE
George also shared with us a few policies of MGE.
- They’re not allowed to travel outside of Metro Manila or they’d face a fine of Php 6,500. 😀
- They’re using LPG gas now and they have to load up at least 40 liters at their garage. George said their LPG price costs a bit cheaper. Plus, they also fine Php 500 if you don’t follow this. I’m not quite sure why they require this (I forgot George’s explanation 😀 Ken said it’s part of MGE’s other business, and they get discounts too).
- They do take care of their drivers. They can get their cabs repaired with no costs on the drivers in case they get into an accident.
- Their employee benefits are well taken care of too.
- The boundary they need to pay is Php 1,500. This is why I don’t understand why there are some taxi drivers who would reject passengers and just spend hours strolling along Edsa.
Taxi Cab Drivers Don’t Earn Well
Our cab driver George shared with us how the above statement is true for them. They don’t earn well, but if you are determined enough and you’re friendly towards your passengers, you would earn a very decent amount of money because of tips. In fact, we gave him Php 100 for tip. That’s how happy I was with him, and that’s the highest amount I give as tip whenever I take a cab all the way to Malabon or Navotas.
I’ve heard cool stories from other cab drivers telling me they’ve received tips like a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, gift certificates and groceries. That’s why I always say, if you’re in the customer service business, make sure you’re extra friendly to a point of almost kissing ass to get a lot of tips. 😀
I remember another cab driver (Yes, I tend to talk to them to gauge if they’re worthy of a big tip 😀 ) telling me that one of the things he does to make sure he earns way above the boundary is taking the quickest way possible to get his passengers to their destination so he can pick up a new one right away. He’s not picky and doesn’t complain.
And I agree with George. No matter what your job is, if you are determined to save up and really make use of your earnings wisely, you would generate a considerable amount of money to live a better and happy life. I should learn from him. 🙂
So, I hope these cab companies stop using the above statement as an excuse to rig their meters. It’s simply unjustifiable.
How to Check if a Taxi Meter is Rigged
While we were on the cab, we took the liberty to ask George if he can give us tips on how we can tell if a taxi meter is rigged. I usually just base it on my usual fare.
Here’s a photo of a new taxi meter. I got that photo from here and just edited it to put in the arrows and texts:
- If the cab is on the go, the timer on the left should stop and the distance counter should be the one running.
- If the cab is on halt, the timer on the left would be counting down and the distance counter should stop.
- Now, take note though that the left timer runs whenever the driver steps on the brake. So, don’t freak out immediately when you see it running when traffic’s light to moderate. 😀
Another way to check is to ask the driver to print a receipt. The new taxi meters are able to print them so just tell them you’d need it to reimburse your transportation expenses.
For your safety, I don’t recommend you call out the driver. Though I’ve done it a lot of times in the past, it’s pretty stressful and you can’t be sure if your cab driver will go crazy on you. So, just let it slip and take a more reliable taxi cab next time like MGE, EMP, Green, World or ABC. 🙂
MGE Transit Corp Contact Info
If you’d like to visit their office or call them to complain, report lost valuables, etc., here are their contact information:
Office Address: 170 William Shaw St., cor. Biglang-Awa, Caloocan City
Telephone Numbers: 364-8260, 363-6096, 366-6214, 366-6287
Would you like to share your own experiences with MGE or any taxi company? Feel free to contact me or report a taxi here. If you have other taxi companies you recommend, let me know in the comments section. 🙂
Disclaimer: This post is in no way sponsored by MGE. 😀 I’ve been meaning to blog about them for the longest time, and we were just glad to have met George who willingly answered our questions. 🙂